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Just ask for help…


Some amazing things are going on at Librarything.com – the cataloging and social networking site for bibliophiles. Since AbeBooks took a 40 per cent stake in Tim Spalding’s company in May, I’ve been learning more and more about his site and the whole Web 2.0 phenomenon.

Librarything has a multitude of nationalities listing their book collections but the primary language of communication has, naturally, been English as Tim is American and located in Maine. So what does he do when he needs the site translated into multiple languages to make it friendlier for the folks in France, Sweden and so on? He just asks the site’s users if they can help.

Within days, the site has been translated into 13 languages, including Catalan and Welsh – all courtesy of users dedicated to the Librarything cause. There’s certainly a lot of hype about Web 2.0 but Tim has developed a genuine community of booklovers, who are willing to lend a hand and help shape the site simply because they love books.

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Richard Davies

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